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Unearthed: Nintendo's Pre-Wiimote Prototype

Illustration for article titled Unearthed: Nintendos Pre-Wiimote Prototype

Click to viewIn an alternative Universe, this is what the Nintendo Wii's Wiimote and nunchuck would have looked like: this is the amazing transforming GyroPod, a motion-sensing gamepad prototype that Gyration made for Nintendo back in 2001.

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Thanks to a recent chance encounter, we were able to uncover a couple of PowerPoint slides that showed the GyroPod, a prototype design for a one-handed motion sensing controller designed specifically by Gyration for Nintendo.

Here's the back story: Gyration is a company that holds most of the best motion-sensing patents. Nintendo licensed a number of those patents from Gyration in 2001, and brought the company on board that year to develop a one-handed controller. (Nintendo even became an investor in Gyration, which is now owned by Thomson.)

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In one of the first meetings with Nintendo's people, Gyration designers brought these animated slides to the conference room. I am a fan of the breakaway handle, and some of you may appreciate the fact that the controller forms one solid piece when connected, rather than the current Wii-mote and Nunchuk setup.

Slide 1:

Illustration for article titled Unearthed: Nintendos Pre-Wiimote Prototype

Still, you can't argue that even Gyration understood the new world that was opening up with one-handed motion. The following game slide depicts only the most obvious action, and doesn't come close to foreshadowing the greatest game of all (IMHO): Wii Tennis. (Maybe that's on a missing slide?)

Slide 2:

Illustration for article titled Unearthed: Nintendos Pre-Wiimote Prototype
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Animation frames from slide 2:

Illustration for article titled Unearthed: Nintendos Pre-Wiimote Prototype
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Thanks Greg and Zac!

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DISCUSSION

heartburnkid
HeartBurnKid

2001?

Imagine if they had used this on the GameCube... we'd have had the Wii years ago.